Book Review for: "A Duke's Temptation"
Written by: Jillian Hunter
Reviewed by: S. Burkhart
Hunter pens a tale full of delicious delights with "A Duke's Temptation." Samuel St. Aldwyn, the Duke of Gravenhurst, has a reputation for being a rogue, but he also harbors a secret. Does Lily Boscastle dare to discover what the handsome duke strives so hard to keep hidden?
Set in London, 1818, Lily Boscastle attends a masquerade ball with her cousin, Chloe Stratfield. The Wickbury Tales by Lord Anonymous is all the rage. Lily meets a handsome young man masquerading as Don Quixote. They take a walk into the gardens where their light-heartened banter turns into a heated kiss, betraying their attraction.
Once they depart, the handsome young turns out to be Samuel St. Aldwyn – the Duke of Gravenhurst – and he desires to make Lily his wife. Unfortunately, the next morning, Samuel learns that Lily is engaged to Captain Jonathon Grace and while he has a marriage contract drawn up, he does not deliver it.
Lily is resigned to marry Jonathon, who she considers a friend. Then she witnesses Jonathon commit a murder, and he doesn't admit it. Lily insists she saw what she saw, and refuses to marry Jonathon. Disgraced, Lily takes a job as a housekeeper.
Lily travels a long distance to reach her new job. Along the way someone appears to hijack the carriage – a rogue who is supposed to remind her of Sir Renwick from the Wickbury Tales. To her surprise, Lily realizes it's the handsome young man she kissed on the night of masquerade and that man is the Duke of Gravenhurst.
As Lily discovers the complexities of the man, her attraction grows, but will Samuel's secret and her dubious past keep them apart?
Hunter crafts a vivid story full of imagination. Her writing is sharp, putting the reader right in the scenes with Lily and Samuel.
The story uses a good economy of words to paint vivid pictures of the setting. Hunter's dialogue is crisp and delightful.
Lily and Samuel are intriguing characters. Lily is honest to a fault and that honesty causes trouble between her, Jonathon, and her family. What I admire is despite the trouble, Lily stays true to her convictions and beliefs. Samuel's most endearing quality is his loyalty. He's true to the people who are true to him.
The story's love scenes are sophisticated, tasteful, yet sensual, embodying the newfound love the couple has for each other. Overall, "A Duke's Temptation" is another delicious romantic historical from Hunter.